Sibongile Maruta Herald Reporter
Four new cases of anthrax have been recorded in the past week, bringing the total number of cases since the beginning of the year to nine.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s latest weekly disease surveillance report, two cases were recorded in Mazowe, one in Buhera and another in Gokwe North.
“Four new suspected cases of anthrax and no deaths were reported during the week ending 14 January 2018,” reads part of the report.
Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services director Dr Josphat Nyika said he could not rule out an outbreak, as farmers had a tendency of absconding required vaccinations against anthrax.
“Government placed a vaccination programme for animals and usually, farmers miss this programme conducted by extension workers,” he said.
“This programme takes place in winter around April, May and June.”
Dr Nyika said vaccination was done prior to an outbreak and around December, which was usually the peak period for anthrax
He warned people against consuming meat of animals that die from unknown diseases, saying they risked contracting diseases such as anthrax.
Farmers are expected to vaccinate cattle annually at their own cost as part of the Government’s privatisation of animal health services.